The Principles developed by The Advocates’ Society, Ontario and published June, 2014 have been well received by the judicial system. And in a short time too. I reported on these June 11. (Refs 1, 2) I was pleased with them as a civil engineer retained as an expert often enough.
Following is more information on the development and acceptance of the Principles.
I enquired but wasn’t able to learn how they have been received in Eastern Canada. I can`t help but think that once they are known to the barristers’ societies in this area they will be quickly accepted here as well.
I later e-mailed Dave Mollica, B.B.A., LL.B. about the Principles. He is Director of Policy and Practice for the Society. Dave said, “…the Principles were released only a year ago, but we have received very positive feedback“. Following is a summary of his remarks: (Ref. 3)
“The Principles were developed following a case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Moore v. Getahun) when the judge suggested that it was inappropriate for counsel to review drafts of expert reports with an expert prior to the filing of the report.
“A Task Force of around 20 members of The Advocates’ Society, all litigators in various areas of practice, was struck to discuss and examine the issue. Research into the development of expert evidence and the current state of affairs in this regard was conducted. Task Force members shared their own practices on how they interact with experts during the litigation process. This led to the drafting of the Principles and the accompanying Position Paper on Communications with Testifying Experts. Earlier drafts of the Principles were shared with various parties – mainly lawyers who work closely with experts as opposed to experts directly, but I recall we did also consult with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators.” (Dave Mollica)
Three significant developments in a year:
- The Court of Appeal for Ontario endorsed the Principles and appended them to its reasons in the appeal of the Moore v. Getahun case.
- The Advocates’ Society have incorporated the Principles into the curriculum of it’s relevant educational programming.
- The Society has received feedback that law firms in Ontario have incorporated the substance of the Principles into their expert retainer letters (sometimes appending the Principles themselves to the letters).
As a civil engineer, I’m enthused about these Principles. They define my role when I`m serving the justice system and the parties to a dispute.
- Principles governing communicating with testifying experts, posted June 11, 2015 http://www.ericjorden.com/blog/2015/06/11/principles-governing-communicating-with-testifying-experts-the-advocates-society-ontario-june-2014/
- The Advocates` Society, Toronto, Ontario, Principles governing communicating with testifying experts June, 2014 www.advocates.ca http://www.advocates.ca/assets/files/pdf/news/The%20Advocates%20Society%20%20Principles%20Governing%20Communications%20with%20Testifying%20Experts.pdf
- Personal communication (E-mail), Mollica, David, B.B.A., LL.B., Director of Policy and Practice, The Advocates’ Society, 2700 – 250 Yonge Street, P.O. Box 55, Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2L7 www.advocates.ca Tel: 416-597-0243 x.125 Fax: 416-597-1588 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org